When I heard Blake Lively was launching a fashion and lifestyle website, I had hopes higher than a pair of strappy Manolo Blahniks. It's no secret that Mrs. Ryan Reynolds has an amazing fashion sense. Her days as the designer-donning Serena van der Woodsen clearly influenced her wardrobe over the years and made her into a fashion and beauty icon.
Much to my dismay, when her online blog and e-commerce site, Preserve, launched at the end of the summer, the sepia-filtered nightmare of a site had only just begun.
Ten percent Etsy, ten percent Gwyneth Paltrow and two hundred percent Instagram filter, Preserve is one huge fashion faux pas. The site's black backdrop, sepia photos and folksy fonts just make it look like a promotional ad for the 2005 horror movie “The Skeleton Key.”
Once my eyes adjusted to the color scheme, I actually was able to browse the site's various fashion and food products for sale. Lively describes the merchandise as "a sort of greatest hits of 'Main Street, USA.’" Sure, if the residents on Main Street are uberwealthy twenty-somethings who only shop at farmers' markets for $7 ketchup and are in the market for a $295 pair of pants.
If you're in the mood for a flower cactus necktie, it's yours for just $100. And who could live without $11 vegan hot fudge described as "a soothing salve for bruised feelings?" Who knew dessert could have such a complicated backstory?
The trend of celebrity lifestyle sites is nothing new. Both trendsetters Lauren Conrad and Paltrow have had successful blogs and e-commerce sites for years. But at least I can shop for a flirty frock on LaurenConrad.com or make a meal from Gwyneth's goop without taking out a loan. Preserve might as well have been named Pricey.
While the site's shop does donate some of its proceeds to charity (a whopping five percent!), apparently the folksy folks at Preserve think preserving profit is more important than preserving face. Unlike her celebrity lifestyle site predecessors, Lively and her website are hardly relatable. Lively's choice of merchandise and words of wisdom seem to be nothing more than humble bragging and fake effortlessness all wrapped up in an organic and overpriced burlap bow.
So, Blake, please preserve your dignity and just take down the site. While you do, I'll be over at LaurenConrad.com.